If Valve’s unique seasonal game modes are interesting to you then you should take a look at the expansive world of Arcade Games! Arcade games are a largely forgotten part of Dota, similar to the days of one courier and the side shop, however, they still have a diverse set of games with a niche but thriving community. In this article, I’d like to highlight the most promising Arcade games.
Overthrow has been an Arcade staple since its release and the new 3.0 version puts a cool spin on the fan favorite. It’s a mix between king of the hill and team deathmatch! Your team fights tooth and nail against up to five other teams of the same size, gaining increased gold and exp for managing to push your way into the middle of the map.
The difference between 3.0 and the original is that you can pick up orbs that give unique spell enhancements and changes to your hero! These can be a bunch of different things depending on the rarity of the orb: ranging from increased damage, cooldown reduction on spells, and getting a random power rune effect every 30 seconds. It has the fast-paced, high-intensity feel of the original overthrow, but every game is unique. My favorite hero is Centaur because Stampede does unreasonable damage in the late game (blinking directly on top of someone with an overwhelming blink can do ~2500 damage instantly).
The game can get very broken over time with plenty of heroes getting access to perma-stuns or instant kills but is any hero broken if every hero is broken?
Atomic War is a unique take on dota auto chess and is also my favorite Arcade game. In Atomic War, you build a team of up to five heroes and have them battle other teams while providing them with items and ABILITIES. You can’t control your heroes during the fight, but you control their positioning and which abilities and items they will prioritize using.
This is because, unlike the original auto chess, heroes get access to all of their abilities instead of just one, making Atomic War more closely mimic real dota. In the shop, you buy heroes and items, but there are also abilities you can add to your current heroes, creating unique ability combos.
With a plethora of different strategies and combos, you’ll get to see scenarios you’d never dream of in a normal game of dota. Although this game does have many aspects of RNG, more often than not the player with better knowledge of the game will come out on top. Please give it a shot, maybe you’ll even find me in your lobby!
OMG (4+2) competes with Dota Auto Chess for the title of the most popular Arcade game currently and it’s easy to see why. Plenty of people enjoy playing Ability Draft, but getting stuck with a build that you don’t enjoy for upwards of one hour can be a real turn-off for players looking for a unique dota experience.
OMG(4+2) lets you play a “standard” Dota game (5vs5 + you win by killing the enemy ancient) with a twist that every hero has one additional base skill and one additional ultimate skill from another hero. To preserve balance, you must pick your additional abilities from a small pool that changes every game. Imagine Nightstalker with Phoenix Ultimate! Or something actually useful, like PA with Astral Step, if you’re interested in winning that is…
Although these were the 3 game modes that I wanted to highlight in this article, that does not mean that these are the only 3 games that are worth playing. I implore anyone who's reading this article to peek at the arcade and try a few of the games with an open mind. Below this, I’ve linked some more of my favorite arcade games that you may not have heard of:
Tell us what Arcade games you love and why you love them in the comment section below!